Picture of couple with big smiles and their dog after winning an all expense paid trip to GABF in Denver, Colorado courtesy of Thorn Street Brewery.

Meet the Winners of our GABF Trip Giveaway!

Meet the Winners of our GABF Trip Giveaway!

It’s that time of year again! Kids go back to school, days start to get shorter, and in a couple of months it might start cooling off here in San Diego. Most importantly, however, it’s almost time for the Great American Beer Festival in Denver! The GABF is probably the most prestigious national beer competition in the country. It features more than 800 breweries, 3,800+ beers and 60,000 attendees. It’s two days (Oct 6th through 8th) of craft beer heaven with tastings and events and breweries all vying for gold, silver and bronze medals in hundreds of beer categories.

Thorn Street Brewery makes the trip to GABF every year and this time we thought we would make it extra special by bringing along two craft beer fans. We decided to run a giveaway at the beginning of this year where people could win a trip for two to the GABF. All they had to do was sign up for our email list! This trip would cover the plane tickets, hotel and GABF tickets to the fest. We had more than 1000 people enter and now we are super excited to announce that the winner is: Tony from San Diego, CA! We couldn’t be more excited that Tony won, as he comes into TSB often, and I recently got a chance to sit down with Tony, his wife, Teri and their trusty companion, Max, to talk about the upcoming trip, TSB, and their affair with craft beer.

How long have you been coming to Thorn Street Brewery?

Tony: “Damn near since the day it opened! I tasted some beers, because you only sold tasters in the beginning, and bought a growler and was hooked. From day one, Thorn Street has had an Irish Pub feel, where you know your neighbors and the people who work here know you. Coming here has been a real palette experience too, from talking with the guys here and learning about the beers to the variety that’s on tap.”

Teri: “Thorn Street has become one of Max’s favorite places. Max has just as much fun coming here as going to doggie daycare. Max pulls us to come in. He practically dragged us down here tonight. It’s his family place. And this isn’t an anonymous bar. It’s a place to talk to people, have a beer, eat something from a food truck. We don’t’ go to bars. It’s not that here.

Max is their exuberant, steel grey, Standard Schnauzer who accompanies Tony pretty much everywhere and is much loved in the brewery.

What’s your favorite TSB Beer?

Tony: “My daily drinker is North Park Pale. I’m missing the Red Headed Hop Child…man this question is hard. I would say my very favorite is the Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Tsar on Nitro. Also I will have any of the Belgians.”

Teri: “Half Chilecabra, half North Park Pale. That’s my absolute favorite. It cuts down on the heat of the Chilecabra.

In fact, Teri credits her taste for beer from coming to Thorn Street. “I really only drink beer here. I like it here.”

Were you excited when you found out you won?

Teri: “He called me when I was making dinner and said, ‘There’s something I haven’t told you about…’ and I starting thinking the worst possibly scenario because that’s how he presented it!”

What Tony didn’t tell Teri at the time was that he had turned down trip initially. He and Teri’s beloved Standard Airdale Terrier, Beatrix, had suddenly passed away that week and when we emailed Tony and let him know he won, he thought the Festival was Labor Day weekend. Considering everything that was going on for them, he felt there was no way they could make the event in less than 2 weeks, and regretfully passed on the trip. Luckily, he figured out the date-mistake quickly and contacted us to see if he could still say yes to the trip. We hadn’t selected another email yet, so we were more than happy to give the trip to the original winner.

Teri: “To turn down a trip to a beer festival like this, it had to be severe.”

But Teri and Tony were chuckling about the almost-miss today, and she said, “When he told me everything I said, ‘Are you kidding me? I would have gone.’ ‘What about school?’ He asked. ‘I don’t care! I have the vacation time!”‘

Anything else you want to say?

Teri: “I want to reiterate, if this were just some bar to get a drink, we wouldn’t come here. The reason we come is that we know the bartenders and brewers. Everyone talks to us. Everyone knows Max. One of the things that makes it feel like a European pub is that moms are here meeting up for a beer, which is great. The kids are playing around…how cool is that?”

Tony: “The staff is here to do their job and they do it well and they do an amazing job and it’s awesome. It’s just awesome.”

Teri: “I also love the specialty events that you guys do here. The donut pairings and the Girls Scout and beer pairing were so fun! Beer and the ice cream floats one was great too. And I was the biggest beer nay-sayer and then when I came here it was just sooooo fun.”

There you have it! Inside the minds of our big winners! They are getting ready for their winning trip to the GABF in the beginning of October and have promised to take lots of pics to share with us.

Want to be our next big winners? Make sure you sign up to be in our #thorntribe by signing up for our email list here…you never know what giveaways/contests we will cook up next!



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